Spiritual Revival Ministry

Go and do likewise

Go and do likewise​

Many of us today understand “love” as merely a happy feeling of being friendly with someone. Sometimes there is a notion of ‘As long as I feel good about the idea of God, I can do as I please’. Sadly, this concept of love replaces all the commandments. When love is detached from God, it loses its true meaning. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not arrogant; does not behave rudely; does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1Corinthinans 13:4-7 Patience requires both faith and humility. It requires that whenever things go differently than we think or wish, we believe that God is working all things for good (Romans 8:28) and that we can trust him because His ways are not our ways, nor His plans, our plans. For the Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. Psalm 103:8. When our focus remains on ‘us’ to love and to be loved, love devolves into whatever each of us wishes it to mean. Everyone loves in the way that is right in one’s own eyes, and therefore also hates in the way that is right in one’s own eyes. God is love. We are not love, and love has not come from us, because we are not God. To live as He lives and love as He loves — means making sacrifices. True love is a part of and comes only from the most wonderful, beautiful and satisfying treasure that exists – God. We need to remember that love cannot flourish without the grace of God. Godless love is one that has lost its soul, like a flower cut out from its roots – that eventually withers away. Love does not replace Commandments. Love gives us the right motive so that we genuinely can obey the Commandments. “Let us not love with words or tongue, but with actions and in truth” 1 John 3:18. It is our duty, as children of God, to please Him by following the ways He has revealed, not by making up our own ways and calling them religious. The question really is, are we devoted to God or is it to ourselves? For it is the blood of Jesus that sanctifies, cleanses, purifies and renews us. Nothing else and no one else.
Mark 12:31 – Love your neighbour as yourself
We must take caution not to misinterpret the living words of Jesus. Often, “neighbour” is interpreted to include only people of one’s own nationality and religion. But if we were to ask God “who is my neighbour”, it would lead back to the famous parable of the Good Samaritan. The Samaritan man was a “neighbour” to a Jewish man. The real definition of love in this parable challenges us to “Go and do likewise” (Luke 10:25-37). We do not have to agree to other people’s beliefs, and opinions, or condone their actions, but Jesus calls us to overcome our prejudices and show kindness to all people of the world and consider them our “neighbours”. Many times, love of the world is made to be a kind of self-worship and this causes the truth about the love of God to slowly die in us. But it is the sacrificial love of Jesus that resurrects true love in this world. If we wish to know what love is, we must look to whom love is. God is love. A forgotten aspect of true love is humility. How can we even begin to accept a person and truly love without any condition or prejudice, if we are unable to humble ourselves before the Lord, who is the one that enables us to love?
1 John 2:15 – Do not love the world, or anything in the world
We are tempted often to waste the love that we have in our hearts by seeking the approval of people around us. We need to remember that we did not choose God, but rather God chose us, to love like He loved, and to serve like He served. That is love. God’s grace to us does not depend on our weakness and sins, but on his forgiveness and on the fact that he accepts us through Jesus Christ. Without love for God, the external observance of the commandments becomes an empty form. In the Bible, Jesus rebukes a group of people (called the Pharisees) saying that “..For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them maybe clean also” (Reference: Matthew 23:25-26). Loving God means receiving cleansing inside first.
Jeremiah 31:3 – He loves you with an everlasting love
Our God who is love, the God from whom all love comes, so loved us that he gave his only Son to become the sign of His love by sacrificing himself to liberate all who believe in him from the slavery of the love of this world – self-love (John 3:16). In the eyes of man, death on the cross was the epitome of humiliation and shame. There was no worse way to die than to be stripped naked and then nailed to a cross to suffer a slow death as a public spectacle. Every so often, if we were to look at the cross, we think about the humiliation and suffering that our Lord underwent. We try and feel the pain in our hearts about our scourged and beaten Jesus, but we give second place to the fact that it was on that cross, where the love and grace of God was magnified through His son Jesus being the sacrificial lamb. Eternal life and salvation is only through Jesus, for all those who repent deeply from their hearts. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” John 13:34. The fact that Jesus commands us to love one another means that we can do it. There are no excuses if you fail to love one another. Such an unconditional love, where Jesus laid down His life, that we may live is something that our human minds cannot possibly fathom. We are called to love unconditionally, just as God loves us. Such “love” cannot be found or shared off our own accord. Love is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, produced in us when we walk in dependence on the Spirit’s power (Gal. 5:16, 22). The love that Jesus has is a costly love, which means that we have to sacrifice our selfishness for others. The price we pay to love like Jesus is breaking down our pride, our ego, our self-centeredness and opening up our hearts that the Holy Spirit of God will allow the warm love of Jesus to fill our hearts, that we will be burdened to share it with others. Jesus commanded us to love, and this means that we do it in obedience to our Saviour, who gave Himself for us. Growing in love is almost like a lifelong effort. It doesn’t consist of merely nice thoughts, but involves visible actions. It is common to hear people say “I didn’t receive any love from my family or loved ones, how can I give love if I haven’t received any?” Love is a choice, it is not a feeling. God chose to love us because we are His children. Where would we be if God said, “You haven’t loved me, how can I love you?” People are deceived in the world today about their understanding of what true love really is. Jesus showed true love through His focus on self-sacrifice, the seeking of the well-being and benefit of others at one’s own expense. That is sacrifice, and that is true love! It is a commitment to see the other person become more like Christ, which is his highest good and for God’s glory. Pride is considered a virtue by many. Humility, on the other hand, is considered a weakness. Everyone, it seems, is screaming for his or her own rights and seeking to be recognized as someone important. Only absolute humility can generate absolute love. It is the nature of love to be selfless and always giving. In 1 Corinthians 13:5, Paul said that love “does not seek its own.” The love of Jesus and His humility are inseparable. One who is proud and self-centred has no capacity for love or humility. Consequently, any service he may think he is performing for the Lord is a waste. It requires humility before Almighty God to accept His definition and conditions of love: “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” 1 John 5:3. As it is written in 1 John 4:7, without God, no man can love. The men of God love like God because they have God in them. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:4-5). Love is a fruit of the Holy Spirit and God loves you with an everlasting love that words fail to describe.

Author: Neethy Sen​